MaXhosa takes legal action against Zara for copyright infringement

PHOTO: Laduma Ngxokolo Instagram

Since launching his clothing line in 2010, MaXhosa, proudly South African designer Laduma Ngxokolo’s career has only been filled with one success story after the other. MaXhosa has even been internationally recognised and worn by celebrities such as Beyoncé, Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz.

His most recent achievement was showcasing his latest collection at Arise Fashion Week (AFW) in Lagos, Nigeria.

The brand’s 2014 collection included the Khanyisa Cardigan that has unique patterns and colour combinations. And according to a press release from the MaXhosa brand, popular clothing store Zara, is said to have used the same patterns and colours for their recent men’s sock range without MaXhosa’s consent.

“Earlier this month (April 2018), we were alerted by our patrons, that ZARA (INDUSTRIA DE DISEÑO TEXTILE, S.A. (INDITEX S.A. Pty Ltd) company has copied one of our signature patterns. These patterns were appropriated & reproduced as part of their sock range which they shared as new in their best-sellers on their online store (see image below).”

“Their sock range resembles our Khanyisa Cardigan which was launch[ed] in March 2014 at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg. The cardigan is still available on our online store and has been on runways globally, the piece is still one of our best sellers.”

Even though Zara has started removing the sock range, they have not made contact with the MaXhosa brand yet.

“We consulted with Shane Moore and Muhammad Patel from Moore Attorneys, one of Africa’s leading IP law firms who are handling the matter on our behalf. They have since sent a letter to the parent company alerting them of the copyright infringement and our demands. We have taken such steps so as to avoid our works being appropriated and adapted without our consent or permission. Copyright infringement is a matter that we take seriously and fully aware of our intellectual property rights. We would like to thank the clients who have silently sent us proof of such infringements as they allowed us means to act. The debate as to whether we shall win the case or not remains, we stand by our decision to fight such a case. Thus, we have sent our letter of demand and we await their reply.”

According to an article in Business Insider, "[Zara] issued a statement on Wednesday: “Inditex, the holding company of Zara has the utmost respect for individual creativity and takes all claims concerning third party intellectual rights very seriously. As a preventative action, the process to immediately remove this item both from out stores and online was activated at the moment this situation was brought to our attention. The company has already started an internal investigation and will be in contact with MaXhosa’s representatives to clarify and resolve the situation as swiftly as possible.”

In a follow up piece in Business Insider, a statement shared with Times Live from Zara says they have removed the 'contentious sock collection'.

Drum tried to reach Zara and will add comment from them when we receive it.